By TIM CLEVELAND
While Spartan Stadium has been a fine facility for the Boardman High School football team, the school and Boardman Boosters felt it was time for an upgrade.
With a $4 million budget, the school and boosters have begun on a project to build a new all-sport stadium for the school’s teams.
The facility will have state of the art field turf, locker rooms for both home and visiting teams, and permanent restrooms. The Boardman football team and band have to be bused from the high school to the current stadium on Glenwood Ave.
“It’s a nice thing for the football team to come out of their own locker rooms,” Boardman Boosters president Bill Bonte said. “It’ll have a campus feel. The location is important in this move. It’ll be handicap accessible. It’ll be a lot safer because it’s not going to have open grandstands.”
The original stadium has served its purpose for a long time – it was built in the 1930s as part of a Works Progress Administration project and with a seating capacity of 6,000 – the new one will have a capacity of 7,000 with the possibility of further expansion.
On June 17, Cortland Banks made a presentation of a check for $20,000 to help with the project. The presentation took place at the site of the new stadium on the Boardman High School campus. The old stadium is located next to the old high school, which is now Center Middle School.
“We’re just very grateful when people in the community put some skin in the game and participate,” Bonte said.
“Cortland Banks is proud to support the Boardman Boosters and their efforts to improve the sports facilities for the students and community,” Cortland Banks President and Chief Executive Officer James Gasior said.
Currently, the boosters are about halfway to the $4 million needed for the project. They hope to have the field turf installed this summer.
“The initial faze is a really major component for the utilization of the field,” Bonte said. “The band can use it, soccer, PE classes, all the other football teams. The only group that won’t be able to use it this fall will be the varsity football but they can use it for practice. We’re always worried about wearing out the grass. We won’t have any of those problems or concerns with the artificial turf.”
Bonte said the idea of building a new stadium has been the goal since the sports complex was built 20 years ago. He added that the boosters hope to sell naming rights to the new stadium for $1.5 million and to the field for $1 million.